i-Prodigy - Project for i-Wife

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by mrbean_phillip, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Hello Gents,
    Ah, finally the good ol' Bitfenix Prodigy arrived on our shores, and thus I can commence to fit the bits and pieces, purchased over the last 2 months, to this case.

    This system will be a new gaming/daily use setup for my Wife, as I want to get rid of the monstrous Lian-Li P80 with quad-SLI adorning her study-desk. System must be reliable, and will mostly run 24/7, so a quality HDD is a must.

    With that in mind, I selected the following components:
    1) Motherboard - Asrock Z77E-ITX
    2)CPU - i5-3570K
    3) RAM - 8GB GSkill Rip Jaws
    4)GFX - Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670

    5) HDD - WD RE4 1TB Enterprise
    6) PSU - Seasonic X660 Gold

    7) Feser 240mm Rad
    8) 2x 120MM Scythe 1600rpm Fans
    9) ApogeeDriveII pump/block combination unit
    10) Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX 680 block and backplate - ordered from TKR 24.06.2012!

    Why I appreciate comments and feedback, please keep it on-topic, much obliged
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  2. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, let the modding commence.

    First things first, needed to make sure the spare (and brandnew) Feser 240mm rad I have will fit to the top of the case:

    [​IMG]

    and from below, no problems, all screw-holes line up, easy-peasy - probably the easiest case I had to foit a rad to, ever, hehe.

    [​IMG]

    Just wish I could have made my spare old AC Ryan 2x 120mm rad-grill to fit, pity there is a cutout to make provision for Bitfenix's original top fan-cover.

    [​IMG]

    Ah well, stock will have to do, and at least it provides some sort of dust-filtering....pretty innocuous looking, but will have to do for now....

    [​IMG]
     
  3. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Next area of interest would be the PSU - I have to make the Seasonic X660 work in this case, shouldn't be to hard though.

    [​IMG]

    Space between PSU and rear wall of the PSU-cage (approx 20mm):

    [​IMG]

    and then between PSU-cage and bottom drive-bay (approx 10mm):

    [​IMG]

    as mentioned in the Prodigy owners-thread, I have done some testing, and if you bent the Seasonic X660 cables pretty tight at right-angles, you can get the PSU with cables in without any modding, but I prefer modding the rear-plate anyway, will make it pretty easy and simple to add-remove cables without having to take out the PSU - of course, you will need to remove the bottom drive-cage, but no concern for me, a small sacrifice.

    Need to remove a few rivets first - these 3 here,

    [​IMG]

    then (only?) 2 at the bottom side,

    [​IMG]

    and then these 2 here, on each side of the case:

    [​IMG]

    So, all-in-all, only 9 rivets to remove, and you have the PSU-cage/ITX mounting-base out for some Dremel-action.

    and you end up with this

    [​IMG]

    and this

    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Mark the area to be removed, like this - very difficult and involved :D

    [​IMG]

    Some of the tools I am using, my trusty Dremel, and cordless Makita drill - makes life very easy when it comes to modding - here with the piece already clamped down:

    [​IMG]

    and please, if you use powertools, especially when using the Dremel, please observe safety precautions, and use Safety Glasses, and earplugs!!

    [​IMG]

    Midway through the cut:

    [​IMG]

    and done

    [​IMG]

    After cleanup with a fine-tooth metal file

    [​IMG]

    and another angle

    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Now, t replace the countersunk pop-rivets Bitfenix used to secure the PSU-cage, I used small 3mm metric-fine countersunk screws with SS-nuts and washers

    [​IMG]

    and here you can see some of the nuts/washers

    [​IMG]

    This will allow all the panels and pieces to properly slide over the screws, as there are a few areas where they have to sit flush.....otherwise side-panels won't slide on proper...

    and a shot with it fitted and secured

    [​IMG]

    Test-fitting the PSU again, but not expecting any hassles - this shot just for e-peen...hehe

    [​IMG]

    and from a few different angles, to give you an idea what we're working with, and some help should you wish to attempt something similar, as I know the PSU-issue and what would work in this case is a hot topic...

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    and with the drive-cage fitted too - nice and open, and cable-friendly...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, time to fit the motherboard, and route some cables to see what goes where, and will it all work....

    from the inside:

    [​IMG]

    and from behind

    [​IMG]

    and cables connected, and a few close-ups for you to see how easy the Seasonic X660 modular works with this case - I like :)

    [​IMG]

    with drive-cage fitted

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    and [​IMG]
     
  7. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Feedback/comments appreciated, hope the above is of help to you guys.

    As mentioned in the first post, I will order the Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX 680 for the Windforce GTX 670 on Monday, and next weekend I will install the watercooling setup, and finalise this (quick 'n easy) build.

    As it sits now, I have it running on air, making sure everything is working as it should, and running on Win 7 Ultimate 32.

    Will load drivers later tonight, and start setting up al the applications for the Missus, with only the watercooling and tidying-up remaining for next weekend.

    I will post several more pics, no worries.
     
  8. Dr Evil

    Dr Evil Member

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    Just out of curiosity why 32 bit? Forgot Win7 Ultimate came in 32 bit.. don't know why either.

    But it does look neat & simple, no SSD??
     
  9. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Heya Mate,
    Don't need 64-bit for what the Wife will use this for, and might just have a little bit more compatibility with some of the older games/progs she refuses to get rid of.... :(

    Wrt SSD, there is a 80GB Intel Sodacreek mSata sitting on the back-side of the motherboard :) I might use this in my Pico LP-172 for my HP Blackbird setup though, let's see....

    Anyway, the RE4's are pretty speedy drives, and with this system most likely on 24/7, wouldn't make that big a difference in day-day tasks....
     
  10. Hood

    Hood Member

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    32bit cant access more than 4gb ram and you have 8gb?

    the cut in the PSU cage looks really good, hope bitfenix take this onboard and make it that way out of the factory.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  11. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Heya Hood, wrt RAM, yes, I know - got the 8GB because it was pretty cheap, will most likely go 64-bit OS in the near future, let's see what Win8 holds, and if the Wife likes it.

    Overkill for 32-bit OS, but will come in handy later :)

    Thanx for the feedback though, and yes, let's hope BF take note - will make life a lot easier for most guys if they can punch the PSU back-plate at the factory.
     
  12. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Just install 64bit.

    Why didn't you just pop rivet the PSU bracket back in?
     
  13. AudioFX

    AudioFX Member

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    This is going to be a sweet rig :thumbup:

    Btw I prefer the look of the stock grill over that AC Ryan one.

    Also you will really benefit from installing 64bit seeing as you have 8GB ram + the 2GB graphics card... but if she has programs that don't work on 64bit then I guess 32bit will have to do... Anyway there's a free performance upgrade in the future :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  14. Gonadman2

    Gonadman2 Member

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    Heh, I have the same drill and the same dremel.
     
  15. t0mmy44

    t0mmy44 Member

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    totally agree with 64bit, these days there are no worries with program compatibility, you'd have to be using some pretty archaic and whackily coded stuff to run into much trouble.

    as for the post in general, THANK YOU! i am planning a build in the black prodigy and your shots of the psu cage/mobo tray mod gave me more confidence in my plans! hat tip to you sir ;)
     
  16. Renza

    Renza Member

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    Uhh, not only that. IIRC because the GTX670 has 2gb memory, only 2gb of the system ram will be addressable by 32bit windows... (max 4gb total addressable memory)


    edit: I was wrong on that, only 256mb will be used by the GPU. But applications will only be able to use up to 2gb memory per process. anyway, have a read of this http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx

    Just load 64 bit pro and use XP mode if required!


    A RE4 is not going to be any more reliable than any other hard drive. Statistically, they may have a higher MTBF, but MTBF is almost irrelevant on an individual case. I had a Seagate Enterprise HDD which died after a couple of months use in a server... A SSD will be more reliable, however, as there are no moving parts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  17. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Normal pop-rivets have domed heads - the ones they normally use in applications, where, like here, you have a side-cover that needs to slide over the rivets, well, you need ones that will end flush with the surface.

    At the back, the middle one, you have the PSU bracket that will be hindered by a normal pop-rivet, and then the ones on both sides, will hinder the side-panels - if you use normal rivets in these locations, you will have some bulging.....

    Anyway, it will be a slight effect, I just prefer bolts/nuts, been using them for years, makes the next time I need to remove the part just a bit easier.

    Wrt the OS, I will upgrade it sometime in the near future, this was anyway just a quick dry run to make sure all the parts work ok, and, curiosity :D

    The GFX card was lying in it's box since they day I picked it up 4-5 weeks ago, so, I needed to test it.

    Wrt SSD vs RE4, as mentioned, I will probably retain the Intel 80GB 310 mSata as the OS drive,and use the RE4 as an application and storage drive.

    Good points, Renza, any individual item can suffer premature electronics-failure, and the numbers are just so big wrt MTBF anyway - but I use these particular drives elsewhere, and I am pretty comfy with them.

    For home-use though, and for guys with massive space-requirements, there are more suitable drives out there.

    The RE4's aren't as quiet as one would like though, so caveat emptor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  18. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    1) Been tossing a few ideas, i.e how to deal with cable-clutter in the rather confined space we are dealing with here.

    I still have a fair bit of the spaghetti-noodle high-temp, super flexible silicone wire around, and is actually considering redoing the PSU cables for this setup.

    This will allow me to properly route the cables, and tailor them to the exact lenghts required - yeah, overkill, I know, some people do it with rads and fans, so we all have our weaknesses.

    Need to order a few more good quality ATX pins, should get this finalised in the next 2 weeks.

    2) Optical drive: By mounting a 240mm Rad in the top, you are effectively eliminating the 5.25" opticaldrive-bay. Due to the Wife having needs for an optical drive, I will most likely fit a slot-load slimline drive - I have a new Panasonic spare floating around here, which I am willing to donate to a good cause.

    3) While I have indicated I was pretty impressed by the quality of this case, for the $99, it's not all moonshine and roses - one area neglected in the quality-department, are the USB-3 ports in the sidepanel.

    One idea I have is to replace that side-panel with the same as used on the other side of this case, and relocate the switches/ports to the front - this will also allow me to mount the optical slotload proper, as well as redo the USB-3 ports, by fitting better quality ones.

    4) Pump/fan control, or not? Considering the Aquaero 5 LT, to handle the fans on the rad, and exhaust of the case, as well as the APD-II pump. This will make for a truly silent system when running in desktop/2D-mode, and allow proper control of water-temps when gaming...

    5) Will most likely mod one of my existing MCP355 pumps - I have another series-setup, tied to a Watercool Heatkiller top (no comments here:) ), and will use one pump for this built, another for Macho-Mini, which will shortly relocate to the Fractal Design R2 mini case.

    I have 2x of the newly released Swiftech APD-II's, one for each built.

    Of course, I need to modify the standard MCP355's, by removing the default mounting-tabs, but that is an easy process.

    Will probably post a few pics later today.

    Appreciate your ideas/comments, but keep it on the modding, please, no further comments about 32-bit vs 64-bit OS, or SSD vs HDD etc.

    ps: It seems it doesn't matter how well you plan, and how resolute you are to do a quick and easy setup for the Wife - already past the point of no return to what mods are planned for this setup :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, an update with the ApogeeDrive II - you can order these in 2 flavors from Swiftech's website, with-, or without the pump.

    Seeing I had dual pumps left over from a previous built, I ordered 2 kits without pumps.

    I had this nifty setup lying around, which was used in my HP Blackbird setup earlier, but I refitted that system with a Koolance RP401X2, with dual-pumps, due to optimising the loop, as well as freeing addtional space, and generally tyding up the internal apearance.

    [​IMG]

    Years ago, I fitted them with these nifty little Heatsinks from someone over at XS, but, other than e-peen,it is debatable if they actually do anything - my experience with these pumps is that they run rather cool, may not be the same for everyone

    [​IMG]

    Stripping it down

    [​IMG]

    and further

    [​IMG]

    to get to this bit, as I have to remove the mounting-lugs - ok, strcktly speaking, not necessary to remove these, as it will still allow you to mount it on the APD-II, but it may not be in the orientation wrt the cables you may want...

    [​IMG]
    Underneath this sticker, there is the original manufacturer information, it is a Laing DDC 3.2pump, rebranded by Swiftech...

    [​IMG]

    a Few quick pics of the bare APD-II, as received from the Supplier

    [​IMG]

    and another

    [​IMG]

    and the bottom

    [​IMG]
     
  20. OP
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Test-fitting the pump internals, no worries there

    [​IMG]

    and here

    [​IMG]

    and a last one

    [​IMG]

    Now, removed the mounting-lugs, and redone the original pump-wiring with the spaghetti-noodles, nice, soft and very flexible - pump mounted here sans cooling-heatsink and thermal material

    [​IMG]

    and here, heatsink and TIM fitted - did not come out to bad, I reckon

    [​IMG]

    and a last one for the day - take note, due to my adversion to bling, I will remove the LED that's supposed to light up the Swiftech Logo in the center of the heatsink - will do they prior to fitting it to the motherboard.

    [​IMG]

    I have also placed the order for the Watercool Heatkiller X3 GTX680 GPU block, and backplate, should have it during this week, and will finalise the waterloop on the coming weekend.

    Was considering keeping the stock aircooling on the GFX card, but, decided to go WC on it too, will give that bit more headroom during hot summer-days.

    More to come.

    ps: Excuse the quality of the photos, not a professional photographer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

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